Faculty

Return to the Faculty List

Laura Jean Bierut, MD

Current Position
Professor of Psychiatry

Education and Training
B.A.: Harvard Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1982
Medical Degree: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, 1987
Residency: Psychiatry, Washington University/Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, 1991

Major Awards
Sidney I. Schwab Prize in Psychiatry
Washington University Book Award
International Brain Research Organization Award
Tenth Annual Nancy C.A. Roeske, M.D., Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education awarded by the American Psychiatric Association, 1999/2000
Distinguished Teaching Award voted by students for work as course master of Diseases of the Nervous System: Psychiatry, 1997
Washington University Alumni Award, 2007
NIDA Independent Scientist Award
The Best Doctors in America (Psychiatry), 2009-2012
Washington University Founders Day Award, 2009
Alpha Omega Alpha, 2010
WUSM 2012 Distinguished Educator Postdoctoral Research Mentoring Award

Areas of Clinical Interest
Alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, substance dependence, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder


Areas of Research Interests
I am a physician scientist with significant experience in genetic studies of smoking behaviors, addiction and other psychiatric and medical illnesses. I am an active member in the NIDA Genetics Consortium, a national group of scientists who are leading NIDA's efforts to understand genetic causes of substance dependence. I also have considerable experience in the management of large, collaborative projects. I have led The Collaborative Genetic Study of Nicotine Dependence (COGEND) for the past nine years. I am a national co-PI of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), which involves long-term follow-up assessments and is currently in year 23. As part of COGEND and COGA, thousands of research subjects have been successfully recruited and interviewed and have submitted blood samples for genetic analysis. As one of 14 investigators who has received funding through the NHGRI Genes, Environment and Health Initiative, and I led the effort to understand the interplay of genes and environment in the development of addiction.


More articles and abstracts at the National Library of Medicine

Key Publications
Chen LS, Baker TB, Piper ME, Breslau N, Cannon DS, Doheny KF, Gogarten SM, Johnson EO, Saccone NL, Wang JC, Weiss RB, Goate AM, Bierut LJ. Interplay of genetic risk factors (CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4) and cessation treatments in smoking cessation success. American Journal of Psychiatry Epub 2012 May 30.  Full Article ->

Cavazos-Rehg PA, Krauss MJ, Spitznagel EL, Iguchi M, Schootman M, Cottler L, Grucza RA, Bierut LJ. Associations between sexuality education in schools and adolescent birthrates: A state-level longitudinal model. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine 166:134-140, 2012.   Full Article ->

Bierut LJ (2011 Feb 24). Genetic vulnerability and susceptibility to substance dependence. Neuron. 69(4): 618-27.  Full Article ->

Bierut LJ, Agrawal A, Bucholz KK, Doheny KF, Laurie C, Pugh E, Fisher S, Fox L, Howells W, Bertelsen S, Hinrichs AL, Almasy L, Breslau N, Culverhouse RC, Dick DM, Edenberg HJ, Foroud T, Grucza RA, Hatsukami D, Hesselbrock V, Johnson EO, Kramer J, Krueger RF, Kuperman S, Lynskey M, Mann K, Neuman RJ, N?then MM, Nurnberger JI Jr, Porjesz B, Ridinger M, Saccone NL, Saccone SF, Schuckit MA, Tischfield JA, Wang JC, Rietschel M, Goate AM, Rice JP, Gene, Environment Association Studies Consortium (2010 Mar 16). A genome-wide association study of alcohol dependence. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 107(11): 5082-7.  Full Article ->

Saccone NL, Schwantes-An TH, Wang JC, Grucza RA, Breslau N, Hatsukami D, Johnson EO, Rice JP, Goate AM, Bierut LJ (2010 Oct). Multiple cholinergic nicotinic receptor genes affect nicotine dependence risk in African and European Americans. Genes Brain Behav. 9(7): 741-50.  Full Article ->

Saccone NL, Culverhouse RC, Schwantes-An TH, Cannon DS, Chen X, Cichon S, Giegling I, Han S, Han Y, Keskitalo-Vuokko K, Kong X, Landi MT, Ma JZ, Short SE, Stephens SH, Stevens VL, Sun L, Wang Y, Wenzlaff AS, Aggen SH, Breslau N, Broderick P, Chatterjee N, Chen J, Heath AC, Heli?vaara M, Hoft NR, Hunter DJ, Jensen MK, Martin NG, Montgomery GW, Niu T, Payne TJ, Peltonen L, Pergadia ML, Rice JP, Sherva R, Spitz MR, Sun J, Wang JC, Weiss RB, Wheeler W, Witt SH, Yang BZ, Caporaso NE, Ehringer MA, Eisen T, Gapstur SM, Gelernter J, Houlston R, Kaprio J, Kendler KS, Kraft P, Leppert MF, Li MD, Madden PA, N?then MM, Pillai S, Rietschel M, Rujescu D, Schwartz A, Amos CI, Bierut LJ (2010 Aug 5). Multiple independent loci at chromosome 15q25.1 affect smoking quantity: a meta-analysis and comparison with lung cancer and COPD. PLoS Genet. 6(8):   Full Article ->


Funded Research Projects
NIAAA (SUNY)(PI):Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism
NCI(PI):The Collaborative Genetic Study of Nicotine Dependence
NIMH(Key Personnel):NIMH Center for Collaborative Genetic Studies - Data Analysis
NIDA(PI):Case Control Candidate Gene Study of Addiction
NIDA(PI):Human Genetics of Addiction: A Study of Common and Specific Factors
NHGRI(PI):Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment